We checked into Flemington Hotel then took a nap hoping to take a stroll along the Taiping Lake Gardens in the evening. Alas a heavy down put paid to our plans. We waited a while and left the hotel at sunset once the rain had subsided.
The Taiping Lake Gardens was originally a mining ground before it was established as a public garden in 1880. The idea of a public garden was the brainchild of Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker. The garden was developed by Charles Compton Reade, who was also responsible for planning the Kuala Lumpur garden town, together with Lady Swettenham.
The abandoned tin mine ground was donated by Chung Keng Quee as a recreation park for public use. In 1884 the gardens were planted with grasses, flowers, and trees; a part of the gardens was fenced, to keep bulls out.
The 64 hectares (160 acres) site was the first public garden in Malaya, and was cherished for its beauty; it has been well-maintained since its opening. There are ten scenic lakes and ponds, which highlight the gardens. Along Residency Road, near the gardens, were golden rain trees (Malay: Samanea saman) or hujan-hujan (pterocarpus indicus) planted along the pathway.
There are few private and government houses located near the gardens; among them are the Old Residency (home of the Secretary to the Resident), the Raja’s House at the junction of Birch Road and Residency Road and the army officers' residences on Batu Tugoh Road. The gardens were so striking that they attracted many travelers to write of their beauty, us included!
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at Tai Hu Food Court, and after dinner we took another stroll doubling back where we came from to make our way back to the hotel.